A model example: David Gandy’s lifelong love of classic cars
The fashion icon with a passion for automotive beauty
David Gandy peers through open window into car
The face of David Gandy graces the cover of magazines worldwide. But away from the catwalk and photo shoots he has a deep love for cars that he can trace back to his early childhood
Never out of fashionAs one of the world’s best-known male fashion models, David Gandy has lived a life surrounded by luxury, beauty and artistry. Obsession with detail and the pursuit of elegance are cornerstones of the world of haute couture. Which is perhaps why it comes as no surprise to learn that David has a passion for cars, particularly of the classic variety. It’s a passion that is so deep-rooted that he owns a number of beautiful classic cars – including a 1965 Porsche 356.
David Gandy sits in black 356, door open, feet outside
Super models: David Gandy and his beautiful Porsche 356 | Del Gregory/B500 magazine
David’s love affair with cars is a long one – one that burned way before his passion for clothing and fashion. Even as a little boy growing up in Essex, north east of London, during the 1980s, he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of every car on the road. Something, he says, that hasn’t changed to this day. “For as long as I can remember I adored cars,” he says. “As a child I could tell you the make, model, bhp and 0-60 time of every car on the street,” he says, perched on the sill of his impeccable Porsche 356.Before the world of classic cars was opened up to him, like many teenagers of the time, David would obsess over the bevy of hot hatches that roared around his local streets. If buying one was out of reach, he describes how his friends would do their best to make a standard model look as much like the warmer versions as they could. Before he headed off to university, he even spent time working for leading UK automotive magazine, AutoExpress. But it is his success as a supermodel, a career which kicked off in 2001 when he won a competition on British TV, that has allowed him to truly indulge his enthusiasm for cars. In 2006 he became the face of one of world’s biggest fashion houses, Dolce & Gabbana, a role that he maintained for many years.
Pondering your next classic car purchase, David? Del Gregory/B500 magazine
Pondering your next classic car purchase, David? | Del Gregory/B500 magazine
Public display of affectionDavid, who has a race licence and has competed in two Mille Miglias road races across Italy in recent years, is now building a house. More importantly, he says, it will feature a garage where he can bring all his cars together. “I am a big believer that classic cars should be driven,” he insists, “and not just put on display or kept in a private collection.”As well as other business interests, David still models today, as well as writing motoring columns for the likes of GQ, Vanity Fair and The Times. It gives him ample opportunity to run the rule over cars both old and new. He talks about how different the vehicles of today are to drive compared to their forebears. To him, while appreciating the speed and handling of modern versions, driving classic cars is more “involved” and requires you to think differently. And then there’s the sound of their engines. “When it comes to sports cars, the engine – the exhaust note, the response from a V6, V8 or V10 – is the essence of the driving experience and the beating heart of the car. I will miss having these engines,” he admits.
David Gandy in his Porsche 356, hand resting on wheel
For David, classic cars are to be enjoyed and shared – not locked away | Del Gregory/B500 magazine
Enjoying the silenceWhen he builds that new garage, it looks like there will be space for an electric vehicle in there too. Despite his commitment to classics – “If I could, I would quit the fashion business and go into building and renovating cars full time” – he has an appreciation for the future of cars.“I think the car brands have done an incredible job to bring electric cars to mass market so quickly,” says David. “Around London I enjoy the serenity of driving in full electric mode, not having to worry about filling up with petrol and just plugging the car in for a few hours a night to charge. I think the most desirable electric car right now has to be the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. For decades [car manufacturers have] tried to make the quietest car, so an electric engine is perfect. Electric cars have also proved themselves to be astonishingly quick ­– as quick as many supercars.”
Dark blue Porsche 356 outside stone-built Cotswold country hotel
“Fashion pays for my passion”: David Gandy’s Porsche 356 in all its glory | Del Gregory/B500 magazine
But despite his appreciation of EVs, David won’t be calling time on his classic cars any time soon. “I love the classics that I have,” says David. “I will never tire of them as I think they are some of the most beautiful cars that have ever been built.”
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